Driving a car as a blind person was an experience that gave me the courage to do things I never would have thought of doing.
It happened one day back in the summer of 2004, in the al-Karama neighborhood of Dubai. My family was planning where to go for the holiday. I was a young kid back then, just 8 years old. We decided to go to a park called Al-Safa Park (where I would spent most of my childhood) for a picnic.
We were all ready and in the car, but my father was a bit late, so I decided to sit down in the driver’s seat. The key was in its place. I turned the switch and the humming of the engine signaled that I had successfully started the car.
It felt great to start a car for the first time! My dad came out and saw me in the driver’s seat. Laughing, he said: “You did it! Do you want to drive us out of the neighborhood?”
Grinning, I replied: “Yes, Dad.”
He sat beside me in the passenger seat and guided me by telling me the direction that I needed to turn the wheel. Even though we had to go very slowly because I couldn’t see anything, my dad wanted me to experience this.
“Stop,” my dad said. I hit the brakes, but in doing so I almost crashed us into a wall! We had made it out of the neighborhood.
It was a really incredible experience!!! And, as a result, I became encouraged to try things that I had never thought to try before!